A picture of a home heater beside the words "Propane vs Natural Gas Heaters"

When you heat your home with a furnace or boiler, you can use natural gas or propane as your fuel source. There are a number of factors that you must take into consideration when choosing between the two, such as environmental impact, energy efficiency, price, convenience, and safety. Here is a comparison between propane and natural gas heaters to help you decide which of the two best suits your home heating needs:

1. Environmental Impact

These days, a lot of people have become conscientious of how their actions affect the environment – especially when it involves the consumption of fuel. Fortunately, both propane and natural gas are cleaner sources of energy for heaters than petroleum, oil, or coal.

Natural gas and propane are fossil fuels, but they don’t produce as many pollutants as oil or coal-based energy does. The cleaner option between the two heater types is propane, which doesn’t release many pollutants or any greenhouse gases when produced or burned. The difference between their environmental impacts, however, is minimal; natural gas doesn’t produce many greenhouse gases, and the difference between their pollutant production is around 10%.

2. Energy-Efficiency

One of the biggest differences between propane heaters and gas heaters is how energy-efficient they are. A unit of propane produces around 2.44x the amount of energy that the same amount of natural gas does. This doesn’t affect their environmental impact; it simply means that you don’t need as much propane as gas to produce the same amount of heat from your home heater.

3. Price

Comparing the prices of propane and natural gas is complicated for a number of reasons. For one thing, natural gas is measured in cubic feet, whereas propane is measured in gallons. Secondly, even if you convert cubic feet to gallons, you must remember that propane is 2.44x as efficient. And thirdly, the prices of propane and natural gas vary by region.

In general, you can equate 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas to 11.2 gallons of propane. So if natural gas were $0.50 per cubic foot and propane were $50 per gallon, then natural gas would be the cheaper option (0.5×1000=500; 50×11.2=560).

4. Convenience

Of course, natural gas is a lot more convenient than propane. Most houses have natural gas lines running through their property that they can connect their heaters to. If you go with propane, you have to remember to change out the tanks before your heater runs out of juice.

5. Safety

The slight difference between propane and natural gas’s environmental impact may be balanced out by the slight difference in how safe they are. Natural gas dissipates quicker in the atmosphere, so it won’t become dangerous as quickly if you get a gas leak in your home. Fortunately, both propane and natural gas have a rotten egg smell added to them so that you can detect a gas leak fairly quickly.

With all this in mind, you may actually find that an electric heater is better for you. Electric heaters are more modern, are safer, and have other benefits that you should consider before choosing to go with a gas heater.

Whether you’re looking to get a natural gas, propane, or electric heater, Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning can set it up in your home. They can also discuss which is better for you, or suggest a different kind of heater that might meet your needs better. To get your home’s heater installed or replaced, contact them today.